Social care  

'No more excuses' for social care reform

'No more excuses' for social care reform

Prime minister Boris Johnson has been pressed to address social care reform this year and make it an urgent government priority now that Brexit has been sorted.

Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, said 2021 must be the year social care reform happens, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Padgham said: “Now that Brexit is done Boris Johnson must get social care done with the same sense of urgency. 

“Nothing is impossible. No more excuses. He needs to tell the treasury this is going to happen. No more prevarication.

“Covid-19 exposed a fragile and vulnerable social care system, and it is only through the super-human efforts of its staff that we have pulled through. We cannot go on any longer with a system that is in crisis.”

He added that social care needed someone to come along and “grasp the issue” in order to figure out a solution.

By doing this it would make them “go down in history” as the person who solved how to look after the country’s oldest and most vulnerable, according to Mr Padgham.

He said: “If this is to be Boris Johnson, he has what is perhaps his last opportunity to deliver after so many broken promises on social care reform.

“The parallels with [Nye] Bevan and his creation of the NHS are clear: the current system is failing a vulnerable section of society and needs reform. 

“As Bevan did with healthcare, so the time is ripe for someone to create a system where the best in care can be provided to our oldest and most vulnerable.

“Not only would Boris go down in history as someone who succeeded where others have failed, but he would surely create a legacy for himself and be known for something very special indeed.”

Long-running issue

The prime minister has promised repeatedly to 'fix' the social care system and in a speech in late June said the government was ‘finalising’ plans to solve the issue. 

However, voters remain sceptical. Just Group’s annual care report, published at the time, found only 34 per cent of Conservative voters thought the prime minister would be able to put a social care policy into practice in this parliament.

The government was meant to publish a green paper in summer 2018 but has so far failed to do so.

Meanwhile the industry has come up with a number of suggestions including a Care Isa and Care pension but so far nothing seems to have been picked up by government.

amy.austin@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know